I'm the missing link to that rare sound, unique but classic. Beat Maker, Riffs, Writing/Arrangement/Composition, Editing, Production, Remixing/Re-Imagining.
I've been in and out of hundreds of studios and musical situations across North America, befriended, recorded with, and played with numerous acts across the U.S. (Akon as a guitarist, Pitbull and Troy Hudson[NBA] as an MC. I've had the honor to work in the studio with the likes of Gavin Brown (Three Days Grace, Billy Talent, Lady Gaga etc.), Viet Renn (Nsync, Backstreet Boys, etc.) and many others to date.
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Interview with TomiiTron
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Most commonly it's composition and production, I do regularly do session and live work as well. Akon was a live gig in an R&B situation for example whereas my work with Gavin Brown was as a studio writer in a heavy rock/pop genre. I am currently working with a hip hop artist from Nova Scotia who has a track on local radio, and am also involved in my own project Phantom High.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: At the moment, I See Stars, The Weekend and Santa Cruz are on my iTunes hotlist as well as the new Taylor Swift "Look What You Made Me Do" single, I love it! I have many inspirations, I love Korn, Deftones, Motionless In White all the way to Drake, Lil Wayne, back to NWA, Public Enemy and so on. I mean I love Motown and 70's era R&B everything man!
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My studio is design for functionality, and composition, the heavy lifting I source out to the big deal studios like Noble Street, Phase One, Coalition, and Iguana. I have a very straight forward Logic set up, some nice Apogee drivers and pre's, Shure SM7b for vocals, some 57's for instruments, and a Rode NT2A condenser. I have all the SSL and API stuff and a zillion plugins. A ton of virtual synths, and Steven Slate Drums wired in there too. I am a guitarist at heart, so I've got all of my guitars and basses, a Bogner Uberschall, and an Engl Powerball II head, an Mesa cab loaded with Celestion V30's and GK100's etc for tracking live stuff.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Depending on what the mission is... Beat production, you tell me what you want, give me some examples and we're off! If we are writing, something similar, maybe we sit down in person or Skype/Facetime some ideas and concepts and we back and forth it if need be. Production and composition, I want to know what you like, what you are looking for, we bang out a very rough draft, give it an arrangement, and then we fill in the blanks or "decorate the Christmas tree" as I heard someone say.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I have "an ear" and I am prolific, I can hear music before it's music. I can bring structure and organization as well if it is asked of me.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill is EASILY my imagination. My creative skill is my prized asset. My production ability and musical prowess fill in the rest of the blanks.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Typically heavy rock alternative, pop, and hip hop. Pretty much even
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: EQ, knowing where everything belongs as far as frequency, but even more important, knowing how to bend those rules to create something original. I EQ EVERYTHING to fit.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: There are a few, Jonathan Davis from Korn is a big one, we write from similar places, and I would LOVE to create with him and make something really dark and weird, we share some similar traits, but also differ in many others, I think it would be sick! I would love to work with Lady Gaga, Drake or The Weeknd on a heavy themed pop mash up. And one of my dreams that I will never get to realize now, would have been to work with Mobb Deep, and Prodigy specifically.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Authentic. Over the top, what music was when I was growing up, larger than life, fire everything!
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started out in high school playing in bands, I actually plated in a cover band at my own graduation dance. I always loved Hip Hop, I made a departure from rock to do Hip Hop/Rap for a solid 8-9 years, but felt compelled to get back into rock and production to express myself in a wider range. 20 Years or so now!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Providing I had power? My computer, monitors, interface, a midi keyboard and my guitar.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Know what it is that you are looking to accomplish, if you don't know, it's hard to get what you want.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Influences, what they like, what they want to sound like, what the timeline is, what do you want me to contribute?
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I am defined by genre. I've lived a lot of different lives in different places.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: To be honest the most common questions are regarding my availability, no matter what my work load is, I schedule accordingly, so that deadlines and due dates are met.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love being able to project myself into music.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: If you know what you want definitively, and we can communicate effectively, you will get what you are looking for!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Hybrid, there is no right answer. Digital mixed with analog is the winning combination, mix and match.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Not yet!
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am working on a hip hop project with a Canadian artist at the moment, and also in the studio with my band Phantom High!
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: My last really big project was last Fall with producer Gavin Brown at Noble Studios. It was a great opportunity for me to write and record with the best of the best. That means getting to see the secrets they use in creating trademark sounds, and it's just nice to be surrounded by excellence.